Saturday's stars in finals: Jahwan Edwards, Butler:170 yards, 3 TDs in 44-0 win over Wake Forest-Rolesville. In two state title games, Edwards has rushed for 324 yards and four scores. Butler defense: First shutout in the eight-year history of the 4AA championship game. Bulldogs allowed 150 yards, helped force six turnovers. Butler senior linebacker Stephan Amoah had 15 tackles and sophomore linebacker Peter Kalambayi had 12. Dominique Brewer and Austin Stewart (2) had interceptions. Brewer, Ozzie Sombo and Corwin White had fumble recoveries. Dinkin Miller, West Rowan:22 rushes, 211 yards and a score in the Falcons' 34-7 win over Eastern Alamance. West Rowan defense: Eastern Alamance got 135 total yards in 50 plays and just 36 yards rushing in 24 attempts. Dominique Dismuke, Salisbury: Two TDs in Hornets 30-0 win over Elizabeth City Northeastern, his school's first state title since 1957. Crest heart: Down most of the game, the Chargers kept coming back even after being denied on two trips inside the 5 and with Northern Guilford seeming to have own the game after a late interception. The Chargers never gave up -- and nearly, improbably, sent the game to overtime.
-- Friday afternoon, a youth team from Mint Hill won the American Youth Football national championship 38-0 over Chicago (Ill) Park Ridge. Seventh grader Benjamin LeMay, younger brother of Butler receiver Uriah LeMay and former QB Christian, ran for 189 yards and scored three touchdowns. And after his performance he challenged Uriah to win a championship Saturday.
"He said I got mine, so you better get yours," Uriah LeMay said after rushing for 36 yards and catching a 5-yard pass. "I guess we had to come through. And losing all the players we lost and having everybody doubting us all season, that made this sweet."
-- Butler QB Riley Ferguson thinks his team has a good shot to win at least two more consecutive titles and coach Mike Newsome said Ferguson is the kind of quarterback who can back up that talk. Newsome also said his team is in the middle of a special talent run. He'll eventually inherit many of those Mint Hill youth national champions, including Benjamin LeMay who was invited to the Under Armor Junior All-American game next month in Orlando.
"Riley and that group of sophomores we have now won (the youth national title) when they were that age ," Newsome said. "I hope we get another group like that."
Asked if he would be there to coach those future Butler teams, Newsome shouted "Absolutely, man! Absolutely!"
-- After the game, Butler junior receiver Zach Ferguson picked up 5-8, 150-pound senior running back Jarrett Camp and the team gathered around him. Camp hadn't played much, but had two carries Saturday.
"He's moved from position to position," Newsome said. "If you could measure that kid's heart, he'd be the biggest kid on the field, and unfortunately, the Good Lord didn't see fit to give him a body as big as his heart. He's gone through a lot with us and it made me happy, him happy and the team happy to see him get in there."
-- Butler defensive back Austin Stewart, who had two interceptions, said Butler wanted to get off to a fast start on defense. Mission accomplished: Rolesville gained 11 yards on its first three possessions.
"We came in here hungry," he said. "We had everybody against us for some reason, and we said, 'We're going to take it. We're going to take their pride at the beginning of the half' and we did."
Observations -- I'm not sure which defense is better, but Butler and West Rowan are both among the best I've seen in a while. They are fast and fly to the ball, and when Falcons quarterback B.J. Sherrill left the game with a concussion late in the first half, West Rowan's defense seemed more determined to shut down Eastern Alamance.
-- N.C. State's field conditions were poor. Only the symbols in the center of the field were painted; it was rainy and cold, and players kept slipping when trying to make cuts
--Hard to not think about how good Butler could’ve been if the Bulldogs had played the season with 1,500-yard rusher Ron Howard and All-American QB Christian LeMay. And if the Bulldogs had played with linebacker Ozzie Sombo and tailback Deion Walker all season. All four are all-state caliber players.
"We’d be No. 1 in the nation," Stewart said. "No lie. But I’m just thankful we did what we did with the guys that we have."